Ghana language-in-education policy: The survival of two South Guan minority dialects

Mercy Akrofi Ansah, Nana Ama Agyeman

Abstract


The paper investigates the survival of two South-Guan minority dialects, Leteh and Efutu, in the context of the Ghana language-in-education policy. The study is done from the perspective of the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Linguistic Rights (1996). In every multilingual state, the formulation of policies concerning language use has always presented challenges. The government has to decide which of the languages need to be promoted and for what purposes. In Ghana, since the introduction of formal education, English has indubitably been the language of education, trade, law, media, government and administration. However, there has always been a debate surrounding the language-in-education policy, especially at the basic level of education. The argument has always been whether English should be emphasised or Ghanaian languages. For purposes of formal education, the government of Ghana has promoted nine languages known as government-sponsored languages. These are languages which have literary tradition and can be used as media of instruction in schools. This decision was to the detriment of some Ghanaian languages; languages which are often described as minority languages, and which are not government-sponsored. The paper argues that, if language and culture are intertwined, and the culture of a people must be preserved, then language policymakers need to consider the linguistic rights of speakers of the so-called minority languages. Data for the study were sourced from language surveys and observation.


Keywords


language policy; Ghana language policy; Leteh; Efutu

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5785/31-1-592

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ISSN 2224-0012 (online); ISSN 0259-2312 (print)

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